Rite Aid Is Closing Even More Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Starting Today
The pharmacy chain just added additional locations to its closure list.
Picking up your prescriptions is becoming harder and harder these days. Pharmacists at Walgreens and CVS have been striking against unsafe working conditions by walking out, leaving some pharmacies empty. But don't transfer your prescriptions to Rite Aid in frustration: That pharmacy chain is experiencing troubles of its own, including a recent bankruptcy filing. Now, Rite Aid has announced additional closures of even more stores. Read on to find out which locations will be the next to go.
Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy last month.
On Oct. 15, Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey, The New York Times reported. The pharmacy chain has been struggling with billions of dollars in debt, declining sales, and more than a thousand federal, state, and local lawsuits alleging that it filled illegal painkiller prescriptions.
Together, these problems have created "just kind of the perfect storm," Sarah Foss, the global head of legal and restructuring at the financial services company Debtwire, told The New York Times.
"I think Chapter 11 is really the only option for somebody like a Rite Aid to get all of this settled. On a basic level, what bankruptcy does is it allows you to settle it all in one forum," she explained.
The retailer previously confirmed the closure of over 150 locations.
As part of its bankruptcy filing, Rite Aid has decided to pare down its physical footprint. As of Sept. 3, the pharmacy chain had 2,253 stores in the U.S., NBC reported. But in Oct. 17 court documents, Rite Aid identified 154 locations marked as "initial closing stores." According to the report, this first set of closures affects 15 states.
In a previous statement to Best Life at the time, a spokesperson for Rite Aid confirmed that some stores included in the Oct. 17 filing had already closed, while the remaining stores would be closing in the coming weeks. The spokesperson also indicated that the company would continue to update the store locator page on its website. According to the online tool, there are now 1,962 Rite Aid locations left in the U.S.
As it turns out, however, even more are headed for the chopping block.
Rite Aid is planning to close more stores.
In court documents filed on Nov. 2, Rite Aid revealed plans to close an additional 24 stores. The affected states for this group of closures include Michigan, Maryland, California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Just a few days later on Nov. 7, the company filed another document that identified 15 more stores set to close throughout eight states: California, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. With those filings combined, Rite Aid has now added an additional 39 closing stores, bringing the total up to 193 closures overall.
Best Life reached out to Rite Aid about the newly announced closures, and we will update this story with its response.
We may see more locations added to the list over time.
Rite Aid has now identified nearly 200 stores it is closing following its bankruptcy filing. But this may not end up being the last update. Prior to the Chapter 11 filing, one person familiar with the process told The Wall Street Journal that Rite Aid had proposed the idea of closing anywhere from 400 to 500 stores in bankruptcy. That would mean that another 200 to 300 closures could be announced over time.
"Like all retail businesses, we regularly review each of our locations to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers, communities and overall business," the Rite Aid spokesperson previously told Best Life. "A decision to close a store is one we take very seriously and is based on a variety of factors, including business strategy, lease and rent considerations, local business conditions and viability, and store performance."